Sunday, 6 February 2011

My Perfect Tart!

Our carefully stored mountain of Bramley Apples shows little sign of diminishing. They've stored very well in the cool of the porch, free from frost damage and cheeky nibbling mice. Almost every day we're forced to convene a short brainstorming session, wracking our brains to think of what else we can use them for before they finally succumb to rot and the compost bin.

I've written before about the 'Holy Trinity' of apples, pastry and custard. A simple, perfect combination, and one we're loath to mess with too much. On this occasion, I broke my own golden rule, and risked contamination with a little pinch of spice. I'm usually a strict fundamentalist on this point. Cinnamon, No! Cloves, Absolutely Not! Nutmeg..... well, maybe just this once.

So, Bramley Apple Custard Tart it is then, with just a hint of Nutmeg because I'm equally hardcore about custard tarts. This recipe has come along at just the right time for us, what with the glut of rapidly deteriorating Bramleys, and a similar mountain of eggs from the ever reliable Rockingham Forest Cider Hens.

Line a deepish Flan Dish with Shortcrust Pastry (it doesn't have to be sweet), and blind bake at 180C until just cooked. Meanwhile, peel, core and chop a couple of medium sized Bramley Apples, and cook to a puree with a drop of water and sugar to taste. When the flan and apple puree have cooled a little, spread the puree onto the base of the flan.

Heat 400ml of Double Cream along with 50g of Golden Caster Sugar and a Vanilla flavouring of your choice. Vanilla Essence would be fine, but I used 25g of Vanilla Sugar, made up to the 50g with Golden Caster Sugar. Bring just to the boil and remove from the heat for a few minutes. Lightly beat 3 Large Egg Yolks with 1 Whole Egg, before whisking into the Cream. Pour the custard mix into the flan, dust with a little Nutmeg, and bake for an hour at 170C until the custard is cooked but still wobbly.

Quite one of the most delicious things I've ever put in my mouth, and that's saying something!


Phil said...

Mark, that custard looks fantastic.

Mark said...

Second attempt and we've got it just about right. The lovely colour is entirely down to our hens and their never-ending quest to find new ways into our cabbage/kale patch...